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"Kevin's work is so incredible! I was thrilled to see his creations. I love the look of steel as art, and outdoors, it just weathers so beautifully. And I love that he incorporates sound into his art."
--Amy Cooper, Landscape Designer, Amy Cooper Designs, Phoenix, Arizona



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How to Create a Sculpture, Part 6



The Voice: Hey, Kevin. Catch a shark?

Kevin Caron: Not yet. But, boy, it sure looks like it. If you'd been here just a few minutes ago, you’d have seen me picking this metal sculpture skeleton up off the studio floor.

I finally got my large metal ring laid out, got all my triangles ready to go, but when I went to slide the first triangle onto this half-inch steel rod after I drilled that half-inch hole, it didn't fit. Hmm. What's up with that?

Here is some of that half-inch rod. I checked it with the caliper and find out it's not 0.500 like it's supposed to be. Or slightly under - like 0.498; 97; 99 - just slightly under half an inch so you can drill a half-inch hole and expect this to go through it. No; this stuff measured out at 0.508. What the heck happened with that? It's oversized.

Of course, I didn't have another drill that would fit it; the next size drill I had was five-eighths - too big. The next size reamer I had was 0.560, so there would be a bit of wobble in there.

I ended up having to order and wait for a 0.510 reamer. Then I stacked the triangles - 20 of them at a time - and loaded them all onto the milling machine. After lining everything up nice and straight, I reemed them out, got them just the right size, or slightly oversize, so they'll fit on this steel rod.

I even had to come back with the grinder and take the scale off, just to get it to slide on there. And, boy, some of them were a nice, snug fit going on there. No wobble or anything.

I finally got it all together, sitting on the ground. Then I welded the last point shut and got eight tie-down straps, thinking to myself: I've seen them do this all the time; I'll measure it out, get eight different points on the ring from which to pick it up using my gantry crane - lift the whole sculpture about two inches off the floor.

Everything was fine; it was holding. It didn't like it, but it was supporting it. And then one of the triangles moved. And as soon as that one moved, the next one moved, the next one moved, all the triangles on the other side are moving. Man, it was a race to get it back onto the ground. It just bent everything.

I got it all straightened out, got it all ready to go again, but this time I got some of this 2-inch-square tubing and made this little star-shaped lifting ring, or, lifting jig, to go under it. I put a ring on it and picked it up that way. No problem.

I set it on a stand I had for a grinder, so everything's up in the air now. Now I can get my gantry crane out of the way and start setting my angles on the triangles; get those welded in and go on to the next step.

Sometimes you've got to back up while working on metal art. Sometimes you do something and discover it won't work, so you try something else and finally figure it out.

Now then, let me get the crane out of the way and I'll get back to work. I'll see you in the next how-to video.

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